I’m excited to begin posting images from a trip that I took back in early June of this year. My friend, Tom, and I traveled together to Maine last year and decided to go on another adventure. One of his bucket list goals is to visit every US national park. North Cascades National Park in north central Washington state was one park he had never visited and was the genesis of our trip to Washington. I had long heard about the beauty of the Palouse, a region in southeast Washington. We decided to visit both locations in one trip. The tricky part was that the peak time to visit the Palouse – at least for the images I had envisioned – was late May to mid June. Unfortunately, that may or may not be too early to hike the trails in North Cascades National Park. As it turned out, the conditions in the Palouse were ideal. The park received above average snowfall and turned out to be a bit of a bust when it came to hiking. Fortunately, the snowfall made for some wonderful images since it still was present in abundance on the mountain peaks.
In order to have the best chance at optimum conditions in both locations, we decided to travel to the Palouse first and end in the North Cascades. We flew into Seattle from Atlanta and rented a car. I think we put about 2500 miles on that Dodge Journey before the trip was over. Needless to say, we drove a lot. In order to see a couple of sights in Central Washington, we drove from Seattle to the tri-cities of Richland, Pasco, and Kennewick. Along the way, we passed through the Hanford Reach National Monument. The monument was formed from the buffer area formed around the Hanford Nuclear Reactor site. Although the intent is to provide a security buffer for the nuclear activity, the monument is actually quite beautiful. It’s a large area that encompasses a river, bluffs, grassland, and step buttes.
This image is of one of those buttes. I don’t even know what it is called, but in the late afternoon light it was beautiful. The grass was still golden green as it emerged in early spring. The butte was also covered in new green grass. The brilliant blue sky was contrasted with large white cumulus clouds that paraded slowly past in the bright sunlight. This cast dark shadows across the otherwise brightly illuminated landscape. Other than the cell towers that had been built on top of the butte and the barbed wire fence in the foreground, this scene stood as it had for thousands of years before. I actually like the barbed wire fence as it forms a leading line into the rest of the images. I only wish the cell towers hadn’t been present.
I felt quite fortunate for this image to be the first one I captured on the trip. Fortunately, there were many more to come. Enjoy.